1828 Repeal of the Test and Corporations Acts ended the requirement that public officers should be communicant members of the Church of England
1829 Roman Catholic Relief Act widened this to allow Roman Catholics men to sit in the parliament at Westminster
1850 Parliament appointed a Royal Commission to ‘inquire into the state, discipline, studies and revenues’ of the University and its colleges.
1852 The Report of the Royal Commission recommended a series of reforms. It also called for the ‘opening up’ of colleges by removing historic restrictions on fellowships and scholarships. But it did not contain any recommendations regarding the removal of religious tests, as the Commissioners had decided that these were beyond their purview. The University rejected most of its findings the following year.
1854 The Oxford University Act which aimed to enforce many of the changes recommended by the Commission passed through parliament. During the Commons’ debates, an amendment was introduced that no students would have to subscribe to the 39 Articles at matriculation, nor on graduation as BA, BCL, BM or BMus. It passed both houses.
1858 Jews Relief Act allowed Jewish men to sit in the parliament at Westminster.
1863 The Uniformity Act Amendment Bill was introduced in the House of Commons but withdrawn after some debate. It called for the end of the requirement to undertake a ‘declaration of conformity’ to the Church of England for those becoming professors, heads of colleges, fellows of colleges, and so forth at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
1866-71 The University organised petitions against a similar bill to remove religious tests
1871 The Universities Tests Act passed the House of Lords and was given the royal assent on 16 June.
1920 Women were first awarded degrees at the University of Oxford